MOE to progressively resume height-based activities with enhanced safety measures from Feb 1, 2023

These measures include operator accreditation and the appointing of school staff as activity leaders to oversee the delivery of outdoor adventure learning.

Fitri Mahad

Probably the only person that likes to hear the koels go ‘uwu’.

Published: 29 November 2022, 2:33 PM

Height-based outdoor adventure learning (OAL) activities will be progressively resumed and guided by enhanced safety measures from Feb 1, 2023, announced the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a press release on Monday (Nov 28).

This follows the completion of an internal review to enhance the “safe delivery of height-based OAL activities”, said MOE.

MOE also worked with the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth (MCCY), the National Youth Council (NYC) and industry partners to review and strengthen the overall quality and safety standards in the outdoor adventure education sector. 

The enhanced safety measures include the accreditation of operators offering height-based activities for MOE students, progressive resumption of operations and the appointment of OAL activity leaders to oversee delivery of outdoor adventure learning.

All operators offering height-based activities for MOE students must ensure their facilities are accredited regularly by a National Sports Association or regional outdoor adventure learning professional body. This is done to meet the “safety standards for operation and training”. 

Schools must only engage accredited operators and qualified instructors to conduct height-based OAL activities for their students, MOE added. 

From Feb 1 to Mar 31, accredited operators running challenge course activities including zipline, high rope and obstacle courses that require belaying will resume at a “reduced tempo of 50 per cent or less of their normal operational capacity”.

This allows for operators to “progressively scale-up their operations after the two-year hiatus” and “allow challenge course instructors to ease into their roles and responsibilities in a paced-out manner”. 

Abseiling and climbing activities will also resume in full from Feb 1. 

Commercial operators and instructors for these activities have remained operational at commercial sites for the public, MOE added.

MOE will conduct skills verification sessions in Jan 2023 to ensure that instructors can “resume challenge course activities confidently and safely”. 

Since early 2022, all MOE schools have appointed a staff member as activity leader in charge of OAL. These activity leaders oversee the safe and quality delivery of OAL activities for their students, and were given training prior to taking on their role.

These safety measures were also reviewed and supported by the Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) Council

Formed in September 2022 to spearhead the development of Singapore’s outdoor adventure education sector, the Council is developing national standards to govern the operations and safety of height-based activities across the outdoor education sector, said MOE.

The Council has further convened a taskforce to support the “wider resumption of height-based activities beyond schools”.

This involves developing a set of guidelines to help all OAE providers, including MOE and private operators, develop or review their “site-specific emergency response plans and risk mitigation measures for managing serious incidents”. 

It will also support the recruitment, skills refresher training and certification of challenge course practitioners.

Members of the Outdoor Learning and Adventure Education Association (OLAE) will also see enhancements to its membership system, including subsidies for professional course fees, insurance coverage and legal and mediation support.

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